Taking Bangkok’s public transport to Wat Pho and Wat Arun

Following my fiasco of an attempt to get to Wat Pho, I decided to do some research and try to get there again. You can read about what I went through last time, if you want a chuckle, in my post HERE.

As you can see from the photo above, this trip includes a boat ride. So if you get seasick, take your motion sickness meds. I get motion sickness quite easily and I didn’t take any meds for this ferry ride (I didn’t have any and was too lazy to buy from the pharmacy). Luckily, the actual ride itself was ok, roughly 30 min. The boat goes fast enough that I didn’t feel sick. It’s only when the ferry is idling (waiting for for embarking/disembarking and waiting for boat traffic to clear when leaving/arriving at the piers) that I felt queasy.

I started this journey on the Sukhumvit Line (light green BTS line), making my way to Siam BTS station. Alight at this station and switch to the Silom line (dark green line) where you’ll be heading towards Bang Wa Station BUT alighting at Saphan Tak Sin station. The direct way is to go down the escalators to the platform with the train going the correct way. However, I found that the easiest (less crowded) way is to walk directly across the platform and take the train to National Stadium (it’s on the Silom Line). This will take you in the opposite direction to where you’re supposed to be heading BUT it’s only 1 stop away and the train terminates there. Just change trains and you’ll be headed in the correct directions, without having to mess with the crowds at Siam Station (which is almost always crowded) plus most likely you’ll get a seat for this roughly 6 station ride. Up to you which way you wanna take, I can’t wholeheartedly tell you which way is better because the crowds can differ greatly at both stations depending on the day of the week and time of day.

Alight at Saphan Tak Sin and follow the signs that lead you to the Chaophraya express boats. At exit 2, the pier is about 2 minutes walk from the station. You can pretty much see it once you get out of the station at  exit 2.

Once you reach the signage below, you’ll have to make a choice.

Here’s the differences:

“Ferry Boat” costs $100 Baht per person and that’s where most people will go because they’re unfamiliar with the other two options. Like us, we just followed the crowd, lol. These boats are slimmer than the express boats, carry less people and seated space only (as opposed to the larger ferries that may have standing room and some are bicycle friendly). These ferries have life jackets for you to wear as well (I didn’t notice anyone on the other ferries wearing life jackets but that doesn’t mean they’re not available. I just couldn’t see any). Luckily for us, the crowd all got into the previous boat, leaving us with a boat almost entirely to ourselves!

“chaopraya express Boat” may cost as little as $15 Baht depending on what color flag the boat is flying. Not all boats operate on the same days or even time/frequency, which accounts for the differences in price.

” chaopraya express Tourist Boat” costs around $40 Baht but has an English speaker on board to talk about stuff as you pass them. Next time I’ll take my seasick meds and take this boat,  it sounds more interesting.

There are little kiosks with an attendant at which you’ll pay your fare, if not you’ll have to pay as you get on the boat (less ideal option but if you know roughly how much your ride should be, you’d be fine, I guess). Some boats have an all day pass too, if you’re planning on taking the ferry multiple times. There’s very little splash so you don’t have to worry about getting wet. If it’s raining however…I can’t say as I didn’t notice any rain covers (but that could just be me not paying attention).

The pier names are a bit weird, some have numbers, some don’t. Wat Arun pier is called just that, “Wat Arun Pier” (no number). Wat Pho’s pier is number N8 and named “Tha Tien Pier.” N stands for North. The numbered piers are the older ones and the newer ones are the ones without numbers.

For Wat Pho, alight at Tha Tien Pier (N8) and walk towards the end of the alley. Once you reach the end, turn left and keep walking until you reach Wat Pho. You can’t miss it.

If you don’t go into Wat Pho but keep walking instead, the street ends and you can turn left here. Head down this alley and you’ll get to the pier that’ll take you to Wat Arun for a fee of $4 Baht. It’s a short trip, almost exactly on the opposite side of the river from Wat Pho.

When you alight at Wat Arun Pier, you’re basically on the premises already. Find the ticket booth and pay the $50 Baht entrance fee.

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